Oscar Beat: Best Picture Predictions 2020 — One Last Look Before Nominations

     January 8, 2020

The Best Picture race got even more interesting with the arrival of a latecomer last month in the form of 1917, and momentum is on the World War I thriller’s side. But will that momentum remain over the next month?

That and many other questions remain as we loom closer to Oscar nominations being announced, and before they arrive it felt prudent to offer one last look at the Best Picture category with my predictions for what will be nominated. So without further ado, check out my predictions below in order of likelihood to be nominated.

Frontrunners

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Image via Sony Pictures

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

The Irishman

1917

Parasite

Marriage Story

Joker

Jojo Rabbit

Little Women

Knives Out

Ford v Ferrari

So first and foremost we have our frontrunners that, based on precursor recognition and awards wins, are pretty much locks for a nomination. That’s Once Upon a Time in HollywoodThe Irishman1917, Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit, and Parasite. If any of these movies don’t score an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, I will be shocked. They’ve picked up numerous awards on the circuit and have been mainstays with the guilds.

Then there’s Joker, which some are still trying to deny as a major player, but folks, it’s happening. It’s got the key nominations from major precursor bodies like the PGA and BAFTAs, it’s got wins (Joaquin Phoenix at the Globes), and significant below-the-line support as many expect it to also be nominated for Score, Cinematography, and more. So yeah, Joker is getting a Best Picture nomination.

These last couple of slots, however, will be interesting. Little Women should be a lock given the quality and pedigree, and while it picked up a key PGA nod, its surprising near shut-out with the SAG and Golden Globe nominations gives me pause. But I think Sony has turned the ship around a bit for this latecomer and it should have enough passionate support to get it into the Best Picture circle. If not, this’ll be one hell of a snub.

And I’m slightly going out on a limb with Knives Out. People love this movie, which is fair considering it’s one of the most entertaining films of the year. But it’s also had a surprisingly strong showing on the awards circuit, going so far as to pick up WGA and PGA nominations. I could be wrong here, but hey, let’s live a little.

Then I’m going with Ford v Ferrari for the final slot, should the Academy go with 10 nomineesDirector James Mangold‘s classically crafted adult drama has quietly been a box office smash, and I think folks in the industry will want to support it. The PGA nomination kind of nudged it in for me.

In the Mix

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Image via Netflix

The Two Popes

Bombshell

The Farewell

Leading up to the Oscars, most had The Two Popes shortlisted for a Best Picture nomination. But the feel-good Netflix movie missed out on both PGA and WGA nominations, and I wonder if the streamer’s focus on The Irishman and Marriage Story was to this film’s detriment. Regardless, I think we’ll be in for a bit of a surprise with The Two Popes left out in the cold and Knives Out getting in.

But there’s also the possibility that The Farewell scores a nomination instead. The Oscars usually have one Sundance movie in the mix for Best Picture, and while A24’s indie has performed well at the box office and with critics, I don’t necessarily feel the momentum behind it. Missing out on the PGA nomination was enough for me to move it down to “in the mix” status, so we’ll see if it gets in.

There’s also Bombshell to consider, which had a strong showing with SAG but hasn’t really popped up significantly outside that voting body in any sort of “Best Picture” capacity. I think that’s film’s nominations will be relegated to Best Actress and Best Makeup.

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